Pushing Through to Create

Are you working to have a creative practice in your life or to regularly schedule time for artistic, inspiring activities that feed your soul?

If so, I think that's absolutely great. But what happens on the days when you don't feel like doing the creative work? What happens when the intrinsic motivation that you usually get from participating in your creative activity isn't a strong enough reason to make you want to get out of bed in the morning?

What if you simply don't feel like writing or dancing or drawing on any given day? How do you handle that?

For me, something that I've learned that I must do when I'm not feeling the natural drive to create is to not let "no" be an option.

On days when I don't feel like dancing or creating content, I've been allowing myself to have the thought (because, really, what could I do to prevent the thought from coming anyway?): "I could skip it today. I could work on something else instead." And then, I immediately push the thought of NOT doing the work I'm committed to doing away. I don't consider it any further.

I've noticed that on days when I do allow myself to skip out on work or to change my plans, it seems that I allow myself the time to go down the rabbit hole of alternate activities or of reasons why the originally scheduled activity isn't the best for that day or that moment. And, sometimes, this is good. The high achieving person that I am, it is very common for me to over-book myself without realizing it, then have mini panic attacks when I realize that there simply aren't enough hours in the day for me to complete everything I've planned for myself or, often, to even begin many things that I've planned for myself.

However, when it comes to my longterm, over-arching goal of developing a habit of creativity in my life with the intention of being as fulfilled and happy as possible, and with the intention of giving myself time every day to potentially innovate, solve problems, and to grow my business, even on the days when I have zero motivation, pushing through and not allowing myself to consider the "no" is what works for me.

When it comes to creativity and developing my creative practice, at this time in my life, that goal is bigger than all the small feelings of "Well, I could do this tomorrow."

And, to be clear: I'm still not creating at maximum capacity each day. In fact, today, though I somehow recorded enough content to create 5 videos (and actually had the time to edit and post the videos!), I didn't use as MUCH creative time as I've sometimes been known to use.

Last summer, for instance, it was not uncommon for me to spend a minimum of 2 hours dancing outdoors on my front lawn, giving free IG Live Ballet Barre classes and recording instructional tap dance videos.

Today, however, my "pushing through" meant getting out of bed in order to participate in 30 minutes (because I was late) of a virtual ballet barre class. I then gave myself grace with not doing pointe work, taking product photos, etc. 

I had accomplished what I intended for the day as far as my creative practice of dance. And that was enough. Anything else, such as the 5 videos that got edited and published, was extra.

So with that, I believe that pushing through to get to the creative time you've carved out for yourself is the answer. However, I believe that also having clear boundaries about what "counts" as creative time can also help to allow for some freedom and flexibility within a no-skipping-optional creative commitment.

What do you think? Let me know in a comment!

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